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Day 1 A relapse from 20 years ago with new symptoms - help!

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by JeffA, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. JeffA

    JeffA Newcomer

    Hi all,

    This is a little long, sorry. But if anyone can help with insight I'd be extremely appreciative.

    About 20 years ago I suffered from periodic, paralyzing back spasms for a period of about 5 years. Then I met a friend who had gone to Dr. Sarno and I was one of the lucky ones. All he had to do was explain the idea to me and it clicked. The approach so closely matched my experience that I was an immediate believer. I had no real spasms since then and when they happen, I go to the gym and work it off. The one time I had a bad spasm that didn't want to go away I finally just decided to force myself to smile for a half an hour and it subsided and finally went away. I've even taught the approach to friends successfully.

    I'm type 2 diabetic and I exercise at least 5 days a week, with a lot of weight training and a good amount of aerobic work. About a month ago I was experiencing tightness in the back of my right leg from the buttock down through the hamstring. I tried stretching it out but it wasn't loosening up. One day I was in the gym lifting weights in a shoulder workout when the pain really got debilitating and then the back of my leg from mid-buttock to heel got numb. I went to my doctor the next day who saw slight weakening in the foot muscles and that I was limping. I also couldn't support myself on my toes on my right foot. She told me I have a slipped disk and sent me for PT.

    The PT had me focus on cobra stretches and working on my calf muscles. At first I was allowed to walk for exercise or use an elliptical machine. After a week she said I could go back to weights but I had to cut both my weights and number of reps in half. After a few weeks she wasn't seeing enough improvement in my foot strength and wanted me to see an orthopedist. The orthopedist told me I have a herniated disk and drop foot and he was surprised I wasn't sent immediately to the emergency room since this type of injury requires immediate spine surgery or the damage is permanent. He still wants me to see a spine specialist. But he said at this point they may not want to operate and I may have this condition permanently. I walked out of his office thinking "no way I'm having back surgery" and started looking more into Dr. Sarno and herniated disks and drop foot and this seems to be a classic case of the type of things TMS treats.

    Of course, when my primary doctor saw this diagnosis she wanted me to get a CT scan and stop working out. I told her to be prepared to not like what I'm about to tell her but that I'm following Dr. Sarno (she knows I've used his approach in the past). She said (wait for it) "I don't mind if you use the Sarno approach but I don't want you lifting weights" (ok, let me know when you've stopped laughing). I of course told her that's not Sarno. She said she at least wants me to get a CT scan, which I agreed to but I told her I'm continuing with the Sarno approach in the meanwhile. (I should add that I live overseas and don't have access to a physician trained in Dr. Sarno's methodology.)

    I'm still waiting to hear back from my doctor about the CT scan but I've gone back to my regular activity and exercise. I'm frustrated because when I first heard about Dr. Sarno's approach it worked almost immediately. Now it's taking longer and I feel like I haven't been able to completely accept the idea because of the different symptoms and the herniated disk diagnosis. In fact, the pain seems to have drifted to my other leg and buttock, although without the foot weakness and yesterday I pulled my hamstring in the other leg - all of which is just making me more frustrated/angry/doubtful :-(

    I know Dr. Sarno talks about this in his books - that with a scan and/or scary diagnosis it's even harder to accept the TMS diagnosis. I'm doing a lot of review on his approach and that's helping. I've read Healing Back Pain (which I never even did 2o years ago) and am starting to read it again. I'm reading a lot on this wiki and am going to start journaling today as well.

    My current struggle is really becoming a true believer in this current case and getting over the fear. It happened so easily the first time and now it's way harder and I'm annoyed with myself for it.

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Well known member

    You are exhibiting 'perfectionist' tendencies which is something us TMS folk have to deal with - perhaps just slow down and accept that things are moving slowly. Distract yourself by working out where your perfectionism came from.... good luck.
    JeffA likes this.
  3. JeffA

    JeffA Newcomer

    Good insight. Thanks. I don't always do the patience thing :cool:

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